Thursday, March 29, 2012

no relation between disaster loss and anthropogenic CC

No comment needed; this post on freshly baked Dr. h.c. Roger  Pielke's jr. blog says it all:
Anytime that you read claims that invoke disasters loss trends as an indication of human-caused climate change, (...)  you can simply call "bullshit" and point to the IPCC Special Report on extremes report.
(actually, I need comments: what does this mean exactly for anthropogenic climate change discourse? Global warming is real, but it's not what it seems to be - so it is what exactly? A permanent exercise: it's not enough to blame alarmists and skeptics to define one's own position. How to phrase it without distancing oneself from others: how "alarmist" will that sound? And does an "agenda" follow from this? Or is having "no agenda" the consequence of blaming others "to follow an agenda"? See also my comment here).

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Im Reich der Mitte - Gastbeitrag von Reinhard Böhm

ich habe zufälligerweise in dieser Woche  zwei  sehr unterschiedliche Texte von  zwei aktiven Klimatologen bekommen, die aber beide im Kern einen Ausdruck der tiefen Verdrossenheit  und Verzweiflung gegenüber Klima-extremen aller Art ( oder eher Klimaextremisten ?) darstellen, die leider die öffentliche Diskussion zum Klimawandel  beherrschen. Einer dieser Texte soll das Licht der Blogosphäre nicht erblicken - er ist nicht politisch korrekt. Der zweite Text stammt von unserem geschätzten Kollegen  Reinhard Böhm aus dem Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Geodynamik in Wien, und er ist durchaus  empfehlenswert, besonders für an den Meeresspiegelanstieg interessierte KlimazwieblerInen (Werner, aufgepasst).

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Congratulations to Roger Pielke jr.!!!

Here the announcement from Roger's department:
Roger Pielke, Jr., has been awarded an Honorary Doctor of Philosophy from Linköping University, one of Sweden's top universities that focuses on interdisciplinary research and teaching. He will travel to Sweden in late May to attend their graduation ceremonies and receive the award.
Klimazwiebel, which is "orientiert am Leitbild des 'honest broker', cordially salutes to Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Roger Pielke jr.! We totally subscribe to the statement of the Linköping university:

The architecture of climate policy: alternate representations of Kyoto

Normally, scientists travel around the world without paying too much attention to the places where they meet. But sometimes they take their time and leave the non-places like hotels and conference rooms. In their article "The wrong trousers. Radically rethinking climate policy", Gwyn Prin and Steve Rayner evoke the image of Kinkakuji, the Buddhist Golden Temple, in the Northwest of Kyoto. The sight of this temple teaches them a different lesson.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

On Ludwik Fleck (1896 - 1961)

The Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy offers this entry on Ludwik Fleck:

"In the 1930s, Ludwik Fleck (1896–1961), a Polish-Jewish microbiologist, developed the first system of the historical philosophy and sociology of science. Fleck claimed that cognition is a collective activity, since it is only possible on the basis of a certain body of knowledge acquired from other people. When people begin to exchange ideas, a thought collective arises, bonded by a specific mood, and as a result of a series of understandings and misunderstandings a peculiar thought style is developed. When a thought style becomes sufficiently sophisticated, the collective divides itself into an esoteric circle (professionals) and an exoteric circle (laymen). A thought style consists of the active elements, which shape ways in which members of the collective see and think about the world, and of the passive elements, the sum of which is perceived as an “objective reality”. What we call “facts”, are social constructs: only what is true to culture is true to nature. Thought styles are often incommensurable: what is a fact to the members of a thought collective A sometimes does not exist to the members of a thought collective B, and a thought that is significant and true to the members of A may sometimes be false or meaningless for members of B. ..." Continue reading

The politics of peer-review: a case study

In small talks on conferences, once in a while you hear colleagues complain about negative reviews of their articles on climate submitted for publication in scientific journals; reviews which have an overtly political touch. Recently, Hans von Storch and I submitted a short meeting report to a leading science journal and received a review which we want to put up here on klimazwiebel for discussion. In our opinion, the reviewer demands revision of our article on basis of political and not scientific criteria. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Climategate and the construction of scientific facts

Marianne Ryghaug and Tomas Moe Skjølsvold of Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture, Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim have studied the e-mail correspondence, which became publicly known in what is named "Climategate". They do not value what they read but ask how common the documented social processes are within science. Read yourself:

The global warming of climate science: Climategate and the construction of scientific facts

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The decline of public concern on climate change in the US

Opinion polls indicate that public opinion in the US (but perhaps more widely) has cooled with regard to climate change in the past few years. What are the reasons? Commentators here on Klimazwiebel and elsewhere sometimes blame the efforts by climate sceptics to influence or 'mislead' the public. They thus are easily blamed for the lack of progress in climate policy and cast as enemies who need to be defeated. In addition, the email scandal in 2009, known as climategate, is sometimes invoked in addition. Several climate scientists and their supporters hold dear to this view. So how will they react to empirical studies which reveal their belief as a myth?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Human engineering to combat climate change?

There is a forthcoming article in Ethics, Policy and the Environment which proposes to consider human engineering, alongside other tools, in order to reduce our impact on the climate. The authors, Liao, Sandberg and Roache (LSR) write,  "It involves the biomedical modification of humans to make them better at mitigating climate change."

New Survey of Climate Scientists

Dear Readers,
As you know (if you don't that is ok too) , I have previously conducted a number of international surveys of climate scientists. The time is near for the next one. If you have any questions or issues you would like to pose to the scientific community I will try and accommodate them in the survey. Please remember the sample is a broad sweep of all disciplines involved in climate science and therefore the questions cannot address intra-disciplinary issues specifically. In other words, the questions need to be kept fairly general and fairly simple.

Monday, March 12, 2012

F. Sherwood Rowland (June 28, 1927 – March 10, 2012)

It is sad to write about the death of F. Sherwood ('Sherry') Rowland who died last Saturday after suffering from Parkinson's disease. He was a true legend. In 1995 he was awarded  the Nobel Prize in chemistry, together with his co-worker Mario Molina and Paul Crutzen. Their work alerted the world public of the danger to the ozone layer from chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). A famous Nature piece published by Molina and Rowland in 1974 started passionate discussions throughout the  1970s and 1980s, leading to various policy changes which ultimately led to a ban on CFCs and other ozone depleting substances.

Presseerklärung des PIK zur Zukunft des Grönländischen Eisschildes

Grönlands Eismassen könnten komplett schmelzen bei 1,6 Grad globaler Erwärmung

Die Eismassen Grönlands sind wahrscheinlich viel verletzlicher durch die Erderwärmung als bislang gedacht. Die Grenze für ein völliges Schmelzen der Eisdecke dort befindet sich im Bereich zwischen 0,8 und 3,2 Grad Celsius globaler Erwärmung, mit einem besten Schätzwert von 1,6 Grad über den Temperaturen vor Beginn der Industrialisierung. Das zeigt eine neue Studie von Wissenschaftlern des Potsdam-Instituts für Klimafolgenforschung (PIK) und der Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Heute werden bereits 0,8 Grad globale Erwärmung beobachtet. Ein massives Schmelzen von Land-Eis könnte langfristig zu einem Anstieg des Meeresspiegels von mehreren Metern beitragen und betrifft daher möglicherweise das Leben vieler Millionen Menschen.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The dreams that failed

It is difficult to avoid a sense of gloom these days, especially in Europe. Quite a few big dreams the drove many souls forward in the past few decades have turned sour or have lost their elan. Europe, the euro, a just society everywhere.. even the great democrat Putin (Schröder dixit) does not seem to be loved by his own folk as he used to be 10 years ago. Technology should be the last bulwark to fail against impending doom. Not even that.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Interview with Hans von Storch: Modelling and Postnormality

Springer Verlag has published a collection of interviews done by Georg Götz: Global Change - Interviews with Leading Climate Scientists (53 p), Softcover, ISBN 978-3-642-23443-9. Interviewed are Hans Oerlemans, Hans von Storch, Erland Källén, Andrew Weaver, Martin Parry, Stéphane Hallegatte and Donald Hughes.

The interview with Hans von Storch was published with the title  "We always make models for something not of something" - about dynamical modelling, parameterizations and postnormality.

The interview was taped in late 2010, and authorized in February 2011.

Climate Change: An Informed vs An Educated Public: Some Preliminary Questions. And a Little Bit Extra.

Recently the American Meteorological Society published preliminary results of a survey of it members: ( Maibach E, Stenhouse N, Cobb S, Ban R, Bleistein A, et al. (2012) American Meteorological Society Member Survey on Global Warming: Preliminary Findings. Fairfax, VA: Center for Climate Change Communication. Available for download at: The intent of the survey was to assess AMS members’ perspectives concerning their assessment of the assessment of evidence of climate change, intra-AMS conflict, AMS’s role in public education and the members’ involvement in public education. The description of the sampling and methods can be assessed by accessing the above document.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

System change, not climate change II

Here is the follow up to my post about David Graeber and Kamikaze capitalism. Naomi Klein , the world famous author of "No Logo" and anti-globalization fighter, also argues that global warming is not just another issue; instead, it forces us to discuss deeper our paradigms and  the way we live. In her seminal article from Dec 2011 in The Nation, "Capitalism versus the Climate", she wrote that the Heartland Institute is right in one point: a meaningful response to climate change indeed implies an attack on capitalism and free markets.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Das Klima in Entenhausen

Ehre, wem Ehre gebührt: die klimazwiebel verneigt sich vor ihrer liebsten Ente, dem Gründer der "Deutschen Organisation der nichtkommerziellen Anhänger des lauteren Donaldismus", Hans von Storch. Interview und einmaliges Bildmaterial heute auf einestages-spiegel-online:

The financial and the climate crisis: an anthropologist's view

 There are many similarities between the current financial crisis and the climate crisis. For example, in the mono-cultural discourses on crisis which restrict our imaginations. Economists, politicians and climate scientists alike preach the strange litany of “the rules of the market”, “the iron laws of economy”, “the inevitability of development and progress”, reducing people to consumers who always want to have more, have to work more and so on. David Graeber is a cultural anthropologist at Goldsmiths College, and he has opened up this black box in his widely acclaimed study about “Debt: The first 5000 years” (read reviews here and here). I recently found an article in which he links the financial and the climate crisis: “Against Kamikaze capitalism: oil, climate change and the French refinery blockades” (shift magazine, Nov. 2010). It’s worth to have a look at it for several reasons:

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Continuation of thread on "Heartlandgate".

We had some problem with having comments published due to unknown software problems of blogspot, who free service we greatly appreciate.
But now, several comments simply disappeared, not into the spam box and not deleted by moderators. we presume this is related to the large number of comments - so that we now ask the commenters on Klimazwiebel to continue on this thread.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Baby you need coolin'

Michael Mann, the originator of the famous (or infamous) hockey stick, has a book out. It is called "The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines." I have not read it yet but the title is not promising. But what should one expect from one of the hotheads of the controversy?